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Monday, May 07, 2007

24 hours of cool race report. When I think about it 24 hours is so long on a bike sitting on the smallest seat I could find just sometimes doesn't seem natural. And no its not, just writing it hurts. But the one thing, win or lose, when I walk away from these events they are so rewarding. I get to meet really nice people and we are all there to have a good time. I got to meet up with a few racers I have raced before plus some new ones.

10 days ago I really started to focus on getting 100% for this race. Getting rid of all the fatigue from prior training and focusing on my nutrition. Trying not to eat too much and not starve myself. I have been training really hard since December and have been pretty consistent. Also I feel really good that I keep up my running and swimming. I train like I would for an Ironman. Why? Because I like it.

I get there the day before the race to check everything out. It was in Cool California off HWY 49 North of Placerville. Very nice area. A lot off hills :) So I wanted to pre-ride the course to get a feel of when I can eat and drink on the course and get a rough idea of my lap times. Because they wouldn't be far off from riding it then racing it. I found the first part somewhat marked. And the last part...well lets say I never found it. It was a 1 hour course and I didn't get back until 2 hours later. Funny thing is I found Yuri Hauswald and Karl Etzel out in the middle of nowhere lost as shit! And to find out we were like 5 miles away down in this canyon and to ride the pavement on HWY49 at 5:30 in the evening on a Friday. There was so much traffic it was crazy. So I get back finish up everything, go back to the hotel and rest up. I ended up getting a hotel with a kitchen so I could cook my own food for dinner. Good stuff.

On race day I got up, packed the truck and headed off to breakfast with my wife, in-laws and Chuck, my favorite mechanic (well, my only mechanic!). I usually try and skimp on my meals most the time but I didn't think it was a good thing to do this time. So I ordered 6 pancakes for breakfast. Carb heaven. I was suprised how easy they went down. Don't know if that was a good thing but it seemed okay at the time. So we get there early as usual and set everything up. Man seemed like we had a ton of shit. Which we did. After setting up Miles and I rode some of the course just to warm up before the pre-race meeting. I was disappionted in the no run before the race because I have been training for that...lol. But I did eventually get over it. Once on the start line I started to strategize right away. I noticed that there were a lot of riders so I wanted to get on the course in the first bunch being it was really narrow. So we were off and Yuri Hauswald kicked it off pretty fast. I remember the announcer saying don't pass the motorcycle (it was suppose to lead us around a school before the official start), that was a joke. The bike probably did like only 10 miles an hour, hilarious stuff. We past the motorcycle the first few hundred feet. That poor guy got surrounded like a swarm of bee's on red bull. I bet he was last by the time he hit the start/finish chute! When we hit the start line I was so shocked I was up front. Usually the team guys hammer away and are so hard to keep up with. So I keep hammering away waiting for Mr. Miles to come up behind me but never happened. By halfway I found my self pretty far ahead of everybody and not one person in site. I remember before the race how unmarked it was and the reason for that was that the horse riders in that park would intentially go out and take down on the course marking before the race. So here I am out in the middle of nowhere in the lead with not a clue to know if I'm going the right way or not. After all I didn't get lost. I came in on my first lap at 45 minutes and not one person in sight. I felt really good and didn't feel like I pushed too hard so I just decided from there to go at this pace for as long as I could go. I started to take in calories after the first lap. Mostly liquid at this time. On the second lap there was a creek crossing that was about 4" deep and about 15 feet wide. This was something I didn't want to go through at the time because it was too early to have wet feet. So I opted to get off my bike and hop on a few rocks to get to the other side, yes I lost my momentum but the cost was too much of a risk. I did that every lap and kept my feet dry. I continued on this pace like I had a bomb fire under my ass. During these races they get so hard at a point to keep me motivated at all. So one of the thoughts or even conversations I would have is thinking what would lance do. And I thought he would say, "dont be such a pussy".

I kept eating - eating as much as I could handle, about 11 pm things got real tough. My stomach was bloated, everything in my body said stop. But everytime I got back to my pit I was told to "eat, shut up and get on your bike," so I really wasn't going to argue with my family and friends who put up with all my training. So as usual, as I have noticed throughout my five 24 hour events to date, is this is the way it always seems to go. You feel real good for the first few hours then its all adrenalin after that. I tried to ride hard when I felt strong and tried to hold my pace when my sprits were down. The sunset until sunrise is always tough for me. As long as I can make it until the sun comes up, then I'm fine. Weird shit I know. So I kept eating and drinking and tried to stay focused on making it until noon. Then I could rest. Well I came in first place with 25 laps and had my first money check from a race. WOW! That was so cool. And don't worry it's already spent so don't ask to borrow any money.

The Santa Cruz Blur held up so good. Flawless all night long. Yes I am sponsored by them, but I have been riding these bikes for years and they are well worth the money. One day later I'm pretty sore but tomorrow will be worse. My body is swollen from all the salt pills, which takes a few days to go away. This was such an awesome race in a awesome area. I will definitely be back. Please if you ever wanted to try out a 24 hour race or even an 8 hour race this is one to go to.

It was great to have my Mom and Dad there cheering me on. And even Dad got to help feed me bottles. He hasn't done that in a long time. (that was funny shit).lol. Thanks Mom and Dad... Love you!

A BIG thanks to my biggest supporter of all. My wife AMANDA! I couldn't have done this with her help and support through all the training. It takes so much energy and time to compete at a high level. I wouldn't want to have anybody else at my side than you sweety! I love you!

Also the second biggest key to all my laps at this race is my mechanic/friend Chuck Martin from Bob Cat Bicycles. Dude you rock! Without you none of this would be possible, thanks for all your support and help buddy! I LOVE YOU MAN!!!!!

It was a big weekend for us local boys. Good job for Miles Wadsworth who took the 8 hour race victory, another stud! Congrats!!!

It was so awesome to have so much family support at this race. Thanks to my in-laws, Bonnie and Bill, my sister-in-law Katie, her boyfriend Kile and friend Mike, who came out. Just being there to cheer me on had such a big impact on me. Special thanks to Bill for hiking the hill to give me my nutrition bottles and take pictures and to Katie for making the best coffee and bringing me some to help kick off the night ride!!

Will post some pictures soon....

2 comments:

Jesse Palmer said...

Dude, you are an animal! I wish I hadn't gotten stuck behind people on the start (I tried to stay behind the moto for half a second too long...) I would have loved to pace that first lap with you, but you were totally gone by the time I got up to 2nd). I think it took our fastest Cal Poly team at least 8 laps to finally catch you, nice work! See you at Cool next year?

Brian Sevall said...

Hi jesse, I was going real fast, even suprised myself. I got real lucky. It would of been nice to have somethere with me on that first lap. I was so worried I missed a turn. You guys were hammering, good job! Good luck in your racing!! I wish you fast legs dude!